Update: Added in Bungie, Naughty Dog and Guerilla Games’ contribution to that special day.
Yesterday was a harrowing time for newshounds and tech editors, as it was April Fools’ Day. A time where if a piece of news and announcement sounded too good to be true, it was. Heck, even the fine brass of e27 partook in some chicanery of its own. Amidst the fakes and the legitimate pieces, there are a few buzzworthy posts that were well-made just for the occasion.
In no particular order, here are the more renowned video game-related joke promos and videos that got our attention:
Pokémon Google Maps Challenge
We start off with the most ambitious. This promo on catching Pokémons using Google Maps must have taken Google a long while to make. Furthermore, all first-generation Pokemons are up for spotting and collecting on the phone app itself, complete with a Pokédex menu. So in case you’re wondering why productivity was at an all-time low yesterday and half of today, now you know.
Thief’s 8-bit look
The Japanese site for Thief had this little 8-bit Final Fantasy battle screen parody up. What added to the old-school charm was using Google Translate to decipher what you stole (see above).
Along with Razer’s Venom and SnakeEyes, Razer’s Eidolon drone system is another joke item in a long list of Razer’s April Fools gag. You have to hand it to the company: it keeps its edgy-yet-trite color scheme and overused ‘gamer-speak’ PR buzz words consistent on the site, just like on its actual products.
Straight out of doing Heroes of The Storm where every major Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo character duke it out, Blizzard Entertainment decided to create a mock-up fighting game featuring its underutilised characters. These include Diablo III blacksmith’s zombie wife, the Rock & Roll Racing monster truck, Kael’Thas Sunstrider, and Deckard Cain. What sealed the deal for us was both the F.A.Q at the tail end of the site and the specialised controller for the game (see below).
Titanfall’s Optimus Prime Titan
The only thing missing from this solid Respawn Entertainment and IGN spoof collaboration is a Stan Bush theme.
League of Legends’ Ultra Rapid Fire mode
Imagine if you take out the skill aspects of the popular multiplayer online battle arena title League of Legends like casting costs and cooldowns, while doubling attack speed of certain characters, you get Ultra Rapid Fire mode and a horde of angry internet users from Reddit and all the way from China. Or at least they would be angry if the cartoony sound effect at the 1:04 mark wasn’t a dead giveaway. Points go to Riot Games for actually detailing the fake update with specific charts and character updates/nerfs.
Mass Effect’s Garrus Body Pillow
It’s every sci-fi fan’s favourite belligerent smart-mouthed alien badass now as a “waifu” body pillow. Also, if you hang around the page long enough, you get a 14 per cent discount on Bioware games if you type in the redemption code “NOFOOLIN”. Good sports, them Bioware gang.
Path of Exile’s “Pay-To-Win” Scheme
The original answer to Diablo III (before the Reaper of Souls expansion) back in 2013 decided, as a joke, to announce its switch from a free-to-play with cosmetic microtransactions to a pay-to-win game. How? By letting them activate fireworks to signify their victory.
Bet a number of you thought the joke was going to lead to one-hit kills and rare drops, right?
Keiji Inafune reveals a new character in Mighty No. 9
The video starts off like the gameplay debut video of the upcoming action platformer. The twist here is that instead of demoing the main character Beck, we get to see a robotic buzzsaw transforming apple. The character’s description made us do a double take, with the words “crisp”, “delectable nectar”, and “pulpy power” thrown in to showcase the character’s core delights.
World of Wartrains
Seriously, this can work if Wargaming can move out of their World War II/modern warfare settings comfort zone and opt to do a steampunk universe.
Skullgirls’ “new character”
Most fans and gamers were bummed out about the reveal of Ultra Street Fighter IV’s new character Decapre, who is basically a character reusing assets from mainstay fighter Cammy (but with a mask and plasma claw things; pioneers of creativity, everyone!). Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games decided to poke fun at not only making a clone of its in-game character Filia (now called Fukua), but create a reveal video that parodies the original Capcom game character reveal.
The biggest kicker to all this is that she’s a real selectable character in the Steam version, and will still be in the roster depending on fan feedback. Well played, considering that the original Capcom vid intro was a knock to its previous legacy of creating esoteric characters back in the late 90s.
Hyper Light Drift’s new mode
What can make the Kickstarted neo-retro top-down action game Hyper Light Drift so much better? How about 64-player local co-op? One can wonder, if it’s a real thing, how is it possible to cram 64 people in the same room with individual controllers/keyboards? That’s gotta be one heck of a LAN party.
Guerilla Games’ Killzone film spoof
This joke would have flied better as a parody clip, but the artwork is spot-on to the artwork styles of the real Tim Burton.
Bungie’s “Get Your Ass to Mars” Collector’s Edition For Destiny
Buy the game, and get shot into space from Earth to Mars. All for the low sum of US$7 million. Glad to see Bungie still hasn’t lost its humorous edge since its past Halo-related jokes back at its days with Microsoft.